The Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM) Graduate Student Association (GSA) has been awarded the 2018-2019 Adair Student Organization of the Year Award by the Texas A&M Department of Student Activities.
The award recognizes a student organization that has made a positive impact on its members, leaders, and Texas A&M University.
According to Cassie Skenandore, the 2018-2019 CVM GSA president, the association is designed to be a “for students, by students” organization.
“We aim to enhance the quality and scope of graduate education by providing programs to benefit graduate students through monthly meetings with insightful speakers, networking events, and outreach,” Skenandore said.
The CVM GSA strives to organize relevant and purposeful events for graduate students that promote learning and encourage involvement. Events often focus on career-related topics, such as mentorship, networking, and building a personal brand.
In addition to professional support, regular seminars and socials provide graduate students with many stress-relief opportunities.
“By regularly soliciting feedback, the officers keep meetings and events germane to the needs and interests of the student body they serve,” said the award nominators from the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies (ADRGS) office.
The CVM GSA was recognized not only for their commitment to helping graduate students but also for their work in teaching and inspiring others in the community.
“It is encouraging that our students find time in their busy schedules to prioritize giving back to their communities and future generations, setting a course for careers as not only successful scientists but also servant leaders,” the nominators said.
From CVM Open House to summer camps, the CVM GSA finds many ways to teach community members about science and encourage children to pursue STEM careers.
“Events are a chance for graduate students to interact with the public and work on very important communication skills with people of all ages,” Skenandore said. “We also get the opportunity to introduce kids and young adults to science and make it fun for them. We are influencing the next generation of scientists, and that is something we are very proud of.”
All of these activities help graduate students become inclusive, selfless, and confident professionals who are fully prepared for their careers and lives after college.
“The leadership this year did so much and went above and beyond to provide great opportunities for the graduate students so many times this year,” Skenandore said. “And of course, I am so grateful for our adviser, Dr. Weston Porter, and everyone in the ADRGS office. We could not have been this successful without their support.”
The award comes with a $100 prize for the organization’s account, a glass trophy, and a plaque that is kept in the Texas A&M Student Activities office.